FFT’s Five Finds: Crocs show some bite

The Crocodiles still showed plenty of bite in Malaysia as we review another week of football around Southeast Asia...

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The Crocs still have teeth

When you fire (or in Malaysia terms - 'rest') a coach with a team in relegation trouble, you hope for the subsequent 'bounce'.  An immediate win or two can make a real difference to a team's hopes of survival.

This has has the case for Sarawak, whose form have rebounded as well as bosses at the club could have wished for since K Rajagopal was relieved of his duties earlier in May, when Sarawak were languishing just above the trap door of the Malaysia Super League.

Bosses knew that the upcoming double-header against fellow struggle Perak was crucial, and caretaker David Usop did not disappoint.

Sarawak won both matches, doubling their points total for the season in the space of 72 hours. Perak may not be Johor Darul Ta'zim in terms of talent but as relegation rivals, the victories were crucial.

The games finished 3-2 and 3-0 as Sarawak jumped into ninth and are suddenly closer to fourth place than bottom in terms of points.

That doesn't mean that relegation is no longer out of the equation but Sarawak are scoring goals, feeling confident and can look forward to a much less stressful mid-season break.

Penang, struggling at the bottom despite an encouraging 2-2 draw with title contenders Felda United, can only look on with envy.

Terengganu buy some breathing space for Mike Mulvey

Terengganu bought coach Mulvey more time. Photo: Terengganu

As derbies go, two in three games from the same state takes some beating especially as the funding for both Terengganu and T-Team comes from the same source.

More money however,goes to the former.

So the pressure was on the Turtles coach Mulvey. Sitting below T-Team in the standings was bad enough but a couple of defeats would have been hard to swallow.

A goalless draw was followed by a 2-1 win that drew both teams level on points.

For Terengganu, it was vital because it means that the Mulvey, who took the reins in March, now has almost two months to work with his players on the training pitch to get them playing closer to the way he wants.

He now has time and less pressure under which to operate.

DPMM's Singapore title defence as good as over

DPMM are looking a shadow of their title-winning 2015 selves. S.League

That's three defeats in the last five for S.League champions Brunei DPMM but the 5-0 loss at Home United was especially painful. The Brunei team just don't look like the champions.

It wasn't that DPMM were thrashed by the Protectors but that they were as completely outclassed as the scoreline suggested.

As impressive as Home were, the visitors were abject.

United may have just three points more than their opponents (though DPMM have played a game less) but they are very much in the title race . It is the way they are playing that breeds such belief.

And that is why DPMM are not title contenders. It is the way the team are playing and that is why coach Steve Kean is, understandably, being more than a little optimistic with his post match comments.

“It’s not over,” he insisted. “There are still lots of points to play for; obviously it’s more difficult now… Before we think of getting points, we need to make sure we get control of a game again.”

It is over.